Friday, January 16, 2015

USCIS Customer Service Tools Outage

From USCIS, 01/15/2015

USCIS will conduct system maintenance from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, Jan. 17.

During this time, our online tools will be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Forms by Mail
  • Office Locator

Monday, January 5, 2015

EAD Extensions for Syrians in F-1 Status

From The Federal Register, 01/05/2015

Extension of Employment Authorization for Syrian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of Civil Unrest in Syria Since March 2011

F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Syria who were lawfully present in the United States on April 3, 2012, and are experiencing severe economic hardship because of the civil unrest may apply for employment authorization under the guidelines described in 77 FR 20038. This notice extends the time period during which such F-1 students may seek employment authorization due to the civil unrest. It does not impose any new or additional policies or procedures beyond those listed in the original notice. All interested F-1 students should follow the instructions listed in the original notice.

This notice is effective January 5, 2015 and will remain in effect until September 30, 2016.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CBP Launches Border Wait Time App

From www.cbp.gov, 12/16/2014

Planning Your Trip Across the Border Just Got Easier

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today launched the Border Wait Time app making it easier for travelers to plan their trip across the border. The app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry allowing travelers to make an informed decision of where and when to cross the border. Wait times for pedestrian and passenger and commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.). Travelers can download the app for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“CBP continues to deploy technology that enhances the travel experience at all of our ports of entry,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “The launch of this app will provide travelers crossing the land border with more information when and where they need it.”
The app is a one-stop shop for cross border travel. Travelers can locate the three ports of entry closest to their location and then map the best route to the crossing of their choice. For example, the app allows travelers in the Buffalo, New York area to compare wait times at the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Lewiston Queenston Bridge and will then direct them to whichever crossing they chose.

The app was developed by CBP and does not require individuals to register or provide any personal information. CBP does not store or have access to any information regarding travelers using the app.
The Border Wait Time app is just one example of CBP’s effort to create a traveler-friendly processing environment. CBP has deployed Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to more than 25 airports, including most recently at preclearance locations in Edmonton, Canada and Aruba. Much like APC, CBP launched Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry into the United States, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this summer. CBP has also enrolled more than three million travelers in trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. These programs allow CBP officers to process travelers safely and efficiently while enhancing security and reducing operational costs.